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Soundtrack review: Repentance (Mark Killian – 2014)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Repentance (Mark Killian – 2014)



”Repentance” is a psychological thriller where Forest Whitaker kidnaps a life-coach author and terrorizes him and his family. The score was written by Mark Killian, whose work I have enjoyed in the past, especially some of his ethnic influenced compositions.

The first cue really surprises me. “Released” is a deep, melancholic and sensible cue, almost too sensible for what I was expecting from this score. “Please stay” starts the same way before turning creepy. This will be the pattern of the score, because the composer wants us to feel a little sympathy for the main character before he starts doing really terrible things. While I listen to beautiful and moving cues like “The ritual” or “Let the beauty” in I am imagining a tragic and misunderstood character. The violin on the latter cue really breaks my heart. I wish the entire score was made only from these cues, but that would mean only beauty and a score for such a movie cannot be all beautiful.  I long for more cues like “Nighttime talk” or “She said goodbye”.

The music for “Repentance” tells a very interesting and complex story. I haven’t seen the movie but I can imagine a lot just by hearing what Mark Killian wrote. I am invested in this score, I am careful at what it tells me and I can’t wait for what comes next. It’s like I am hearing both sides of the story…the sensitivity and the motivation of the character on one side and his deranged actions on the other. The music is either beautiful or very creepy and disturbing, like the excellent 6 minute long “Inevitable reactions”

“Repentance” was a very nice surprise and a score I will definitely return to when I’m in a certain mood. It is my kind of composition, with beautiful piano cues and psychological horror ones. Mark Killian wrote an intelligent and compelling score that works great as a standalone listen and which I’m very much looking forward to hearing in context.

Cue rating: 75 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 29 / 59

Album excellence: 50%




Please Stay

The Ritual

Let The Beauty In


Nighttime Talk

She Said Goodbye

Yoga Class

Inevitable Reactions

The Note

I Was There With You

First Session

Reliving Regret

Can You Help Me


Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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